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What you should know: symptoms and treatment of sleep apnea in Farmington Hills

Symptoms and Treatment of Sleep Apnea in Farmington Hills
You’ve probably heard of sleep apnea, but did you know that this condition can be diagnosed and treated by your dentist? Because dentists often see patients twice each year, they play a key role in the identification of sleep apnea. Dr. Richard S. Bernstein can help get you get back to a restful night’s sleep.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is defined by temporary pauses in your breathing while you sleep. These pauses, or “apneic episodes” can last for just a few seconds up to a minute and can occur upwards of 30 times in an hour. After the apneic episode concludes, normal breathing resumes typically accompanied by a loud snoring sound. In fact, the first indication of sleep apnea often comes from a partner or family member complaining about persistent snoring.

Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?

When your breathing pattern is interrupted, your heart rate will increase to maintain oxygen levels. Without treatment, this can cause increased carbon dioxide levels, and an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, or stroke.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

  • Snoring
  • Feeling tired upon waking up
  • Morning headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Depression

Dental symptoms of sleep apnea

Jaw pain is common symptom associated with sleep apnea and it’s usually due to TMJ. In many patients with sleep apnea, the jaw will tense up to prevent airway blockage. This extra stress on the jaw can cause TMJ. Other dental symptoms may include: grinding/clenching, worn teeth, chronic headaches, cracked or broken teeth.

Sleep apnea treatment

Using a simple orthotic appliance that patients wear during sleep, can help keep the airways open and reduce apneic episodes, allowing you to see dramatic reduction in symptoms and an increase in productive sleep.

If you’re in the Farmington Hills area, please call Dr. Bernstein today at 248.636.2100 for a sleep apnea evaluation.

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